Monday, August 17, 2009

Product Review: GW Brushes (New)

Games Workshop recently revamped their brush line replacing the blue marbled handle models that have been much maligned. I know that many will swear upon Winsor and Newton's Series Seven, and this review will dissuade none from that product, but I feel the updated range has an adequate bang for the buck.

I was able to get my hands on the new range excluding the large drybrush and stippling brush. Here are my thoughts:

The line received a much needed visual face lift with a matte black finish replacing the dated blue marble finish of the previous iteration. Colored tips denote the different brushes in the set.

According to GW, most of the brushes in the line are constructed (by hand) of Kolinsky Sable, with the exception of I believe the dry and stippling brushes. This makes sense as both uses require a bit more wear intensive materials.

The brushes are comfortable to use and feel solidly put together. The brush ends appear neat and well constructed. The larger brushes in the line such as the standard and wash have a heftier feel to them than do the detail end of the line.

I really enjoyed using the wash brush in a few projects. It has a larger brush "belly" that holds a lot of wash. It is a very thick brush end which works as sort of a mop to slap a liberal coat of wash on a model. Probably not the best tool for washing crevasses, etc, but it will get the job done washing over a basecoat.

The one complaint I have is about the fine detail brush. While the brush is adequately small enough for final highlights, eyes, lenses, gems, teeth, etc , it just doesn't give you enough rigidity to really give you that pin point application that I was looking for. The tip would bend a bit and get paint exactly where I didn't want it to go. Don't get me wrong, I don't jab the points on the model, but this brush just felt a bit flimsy.

The other negative is the small drybrush. I have been using one of the old Citadel red handled drybrushes forever it seems like. It takes a pounding and keeps on coming back time after time. It has a soft quality to it that I just haven't been able to find in another drybrush. The new version is no different. It bristles seem to spread way out as soon as you apply paint to it and start those few initial strokes to get the majority of the paint off. It is still a serviceable brush, but perhaps I am spoiled from using my favorite red handle for so long.

The remainder of the line are nothing special for a 5-6 dollar price point. Of course you are probably going to get better results with a 18-25 dollar Winsor & Newton, but this new brush set covers all the bases with adequate brushes. Available in a set or by the brush here.

EDIT: In researching W&N prices I found them at about 50-60% off list at Dick Blick art supply.

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